Delays and Cooldowns

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A delay (or cooldown) is a way to make an event only trigger if a certain amount of time has passed since its last occurrence.

CurTime

CurTime is a useful tool for setting a delay for an event. The function returns the uptime of the server in seconds, which means we can use it to keep track of time elapsed by saving the returned value, then calling it again.

Here's an example of an anti chat spam system made using CurTime

local delay = 2
hook.Add( "PlayerSay", "CheckForAntiSpam", function( ply, text )
	if not ply.lastChatMessage then ply.lastChatMessage = -delay end -- This is to ensure the first time trigger works properly
	if CurTime() - ply.lastChatMessage < delay then -- If the time passed since the last message sent is less than 2 seconds
		ply:ChatPrint( "You must wait " .. delay .. " seconds after sending a chat message to send another one" ) -- Let the player know he can't send the message
		return "" -- Deny the message
	else -- If it's been more than 2 seconds since the last message was sent
		ply.lastChatMessage = CurTime() -- Update lastChatMessage
	end
end )
NOTE

If your event isn't related to in-game events; consider using RealTime instead, which will always be synced to real-world time rather than server time

In the above example, we use CurTime to tell when the last event had occured. Instead, we could use it to determine when the next event should occur

local delay = 5
local nextOccurance = 0
hook.Add( "Think", "CurTimeDelay", function()
	if CurTime() > nextOccurance then -- If the time has passed the nextOccurance time
		print( "This message will repeat every 5 seconds." )
		nextOccurance = CurTime() + delay 
	end
end )

Timers

Another method of setting a delay is using the timer library.

local delay = 2
local shouldOccur = true
hook.Add( "PlayerSay", "CheckForAntiSpam", function( ply, text )
	if shouldOccur then
		shouldOccur = false
		timer.Simple( delay, function() shouldOccur = true end )
	else
		return ""
	end
end )
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